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HOA's- The End of Civilazation as We Know It?

Gosh, it's already been a month since the last whining session. Well, since then I got a letter from my HOA. (For those of you fortunate enough not to know what HOA stands for, it means Horrid, Oppressive Adversaries. NO! It means, Home Owner's Association.) These were invented by people who determined that neighborhoods should look nice, act nice, and be nice. Oops. Back to the letter.
Just a 'friendly note' to encourage me to prune my palm trees. With a quote from the Homeowner's Maunual, which has currently taken the place of the Bible as a 'Book You Ought to Read and Do What It Says'. And the consequences are worse too. Fires of hell? No, the HOA will fine you. Or prune the trees themselves and bill you for it, plus the fine. And penalty. And interest. If you don't pay they'll put a lein on your house. While the people who run these HOA's are wonderful, good people, some of them get carried away. They subscribe to "Better Homes and Gardens" and look at the pictures. Then they dream that their neighborhood could look exactly like the pictures. Every day. All the time.
Here are a few horror stories;
My friend Jim owned a house and paid the dues ($25/month) yearly. So he sent a check for $300 every year. A new compnay, called, 'Satan's Minions' (I changed the name to protect me from getting sued) took over the management of the HOA. They sent him a notice that he missed his $25 payment. He sent them a letter, with the dues, explained the delay, and they sent him a bill for $100.
How sweet.
Have a nice day.
Another poor soul (who shall remain unnamed) left his- brace yourselves-... ready? It's bad.
He left his garbage cans in sight from the street!
Oh, the humanity! What is the matter with a demented person like that?
He was fined $100.
More? Sure you can take it?
Another unnamed development now puts the boot on cars. (The boot, like in New York City, blocks the wheel and disables the car until you settle up) A woman pulled into her driveway and unloaded her groceries. But here's what she did. Sometimes you wonder why they don't have the death penalty for people like her.
Her car extended into the street.
Yep. So they booted it, between trips into the house with the groceries.
Foreclosed houses are fun, as the homeowner is evicted, the power and water are turned off, the lawn dies, and the HOA sends out violation letters every month, racking up fines totalling over $10,000!
Still hanging on? Okay. Another neighborhood forbids cars on the street after 11 P.M. So if you're having a party, they don't knock on the door or anything.
They just start towing.
Lovely.
I told the little Woman I was done. Moving into a house with no HOA. And when I do, I'm putting a big metal lady bug on the roof, a wrecked car in the front yard, and a clothesline in the back.
She looked at her shoes.
"I think I could go with the clothesline."

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